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Alive 5

 The strange story of Graham Fitchie!

Have  you ever done something and got more than you bargained for?  It could
be an evening's seemingly harmless fun with a giggly group of friends and an
ouija  board,  harmless right up to the moment it starts to make the letters
that say "YOU WILL ALL DIE!" It might be skydiving,  and forgetting to bring
a  parachute,  it may even be an attempted Indiana Jones styled tomb robbery
where  the  inhabitant is still semi-sentient,  and very pissed off!  Well I
did something like that just by going on the internet recently!

Now  someone else apart from me must have tried this,  I hope they have,  or
that  makes me a morbidly weird person.  You've been bored,  at a loose end,
and  you decide to play a little game with an internet search  engine.  This
is,  quite simply,  inputting random names of old school and college friends
and  associates,  to  see if they have got any significant presence  on  the
world  wide web thingy.  Yes I know there is the Friends Reunited site,  but
this random thing seems like a lot more fun.

Well it would if there was any end result from it. There are a huge stack of
entries  for each name that I try,  but it is a case of "Mr Needle,  meet Mr 
Haystack"  as any decent lead that may be out there,  gets swamped.  This is
mainly by americanisms, I might add. Putting a UK-only filter on these kills
some  searches off entirely.  There are one or two promising but  ultimately
false  leads,  and  I  am well down into the list of "associates"  before  I
finally hit paydirt.
Search For |graham fitchie   |

Oh, and look what we have here!! Check out this screengrab!

      Now this doesn't look too good!

It  doesn't  look too nice,  does it?  The first three entries refer to some
very  bad  behaviour  on the part of an individual  called  Graham  Fitchie,
including  an  entry  entirely  in Swedish!  At this point in  time,  I  can
accurately  claim this as a genuine "HOLY SHIT!" moment.  At the same  time,
I'm  half-expecting  to  see  something like this,   and  you  lot  are  now
impatiently waiting for me to stop beating around this very well abused bush
and get on with the explanation.

The  Graham  Fitchie that I knew,  was part of the circle of people  I  hung
around  with  during  my  second year of higher  education.  We  had  common
interests,  kicking  off  a science fiction society,  and a nascent computer
club,  where  epic  sessions of trying to beat classic Speccy games such  as
Starion,  Alien  8  and Elite took place.  I got them into Elite,  one person
looking  at my untidy and  hurried hyperspace escape from a tense  situation
in  the BBC version of the game saying "Wow,  that's really like Han  Solo!"
(Not quite correct, apart from owing Jabba the Hutt lots of money!) ;)

Graham  was  doing  a teaching degree,  he was one of these people  who  was
tolerated  more  than  liked.  A lot of this was down to Graham  himself.  A
general description of "Smug beardie git" could serve very well to  describe
him.  He was one of those people who was self-righteous and hyper-pendantic.
A  more sensitive person would have toned down that sort of  behaviour,  and
made  a better effort to fit in,  but 'Wolfie' was always right in his mind,
so didn't care (Sorry, but it was only a matter of time before we started to
use his nickname in this article!)

Wolfie  shared a student house with a couple of other guys who I did get  on
with,  Roger and Les.  They tolerated him, presumably on the grounds that he
paid his share of the rent and housekeeping,  kept himself tidy,  and stayed
out of the way mostly.  But at the same time,  they were often keen to share
anecdotes of when he made a complete prat of himself.

One  such occasion was the fancy dress party where he was heard to  say  "It 
doesn't  matter if I mix my drinks when they're the same specific  gravity!"
And  then  seen  to vomit very shortly afterwards!  But then there  was  the
conversation  where  Wolfie,  sorry,  Graham was transformed from a harmless
irritant into something rather more sinister.

It  was  a discussion we had all been having.  I don't remember what it  was
about,  but  Graham  had readily taken up an opposing,  usually  reactionary
viewpoint,  and when he got up and walked out,  we were glad to see the back
of him.  I said something to the effect of asking whether he was always this
backward  looking,  and  Les grimly replied "Some of his views on a  certain 
subject are *very* advanced!"

They told me of an incident when they were in the halls of residence on  the
college  campus,  the  previous year.  Graham had a big iron chest which  he
always kept locked when there were visitors to his room. There was a certain
amount of speculation as to what was kept in there, and it was only a matter
of  time before they got to find out.  He was temporarily distracted out  of
his  room,  and  a  couple  of people got to take a quick  peek  inside  the
forbidden chest.

What  they  found wasn't gold or jewels,  or the dismembered corpse  of  his
grandmother, but something just as revealingly scary....

A large collection of paedophile literature.

Doesn't look nice, whatever colouring you use for the text!

They  didn't confront him there and then,  but they did quietly tip off  the
college  authorities.  Wolfie wasn't arrested,  or removed from his teaching
course, but I heard later that the authorities quietly,perhaps in a cowardly
or underhand way, started  to  give him 'fail' marks,  so he would flunk the
course in a more 'natural' way without him suspecting the real reason why.

If this course of action looks odd to  you now,  remember this happened back
in the mid-eighties, when the paedophile debate wasn't as open and as highly
emotionally  charged as it is right now.  Graham's sexual orientation wasn't
common or public knowledge,  and I think only a few people at that time ever
knew what he was really like.  Directions changed again in the final year, I
was doing different things, didn't see so much of Roger and Les,  and hardly
anything of Wolfie. In any case, he was someone else's problem by now..

Still,  nobody wanted to see him in a  teaching position,  although  it  was
rumoured  afterwards  that  he  was teaching at a boys private school!  Talk
about putting a shark in charge as a swimming pool lifeguard!

Anyway, to bring this story right back to the present, I checked out some of
the links above. The most illuminating one is reproduced below.


This is Google's cache of

Google's  cache is the snapshot that we took of the page as we  crawled  the 


  News clippings featuring Merstham

26th July 1997 


A  paedophile serving a six-year jail sentence led police to a  pornographer 
who appeared to be the respectable employee of a school publishing  company, 
a court was told yesterday. The prisoner had been found with a video showing 
an  indecent assault on a boy of 11.  From his cell,  he gave detectives the 
name  of  Graham  Fitchieas the man who had filmed and taken  part  in  the 

When police called at Fitchie's home in a suburban road they discovered  the 
biggest collection of Internet pornography found in Britain, Guildford Crown 
Court was told. Fitchie,37, had 10,751 pictures, 81 films and more than 500 
pages  of  stories  about child-sex stored on computer  hard  disks  and  CD 
drives.  He  had built up a network of other paedophiles he was distributing 
the pornography to, said Richard Whittam, prosecuting.

Fitchie,of Merstham, Surrey, pleaded guilty to sending obscene photographs 
and films via the Internet and to indecently assaulting the 11-year-old  boy 
in  the original film.  He was jailed for three years after Judge John  Bull 
told  him  there  was "growing international revulsion" at the  use  of  the 
Internet by paedophiles.  The judge added:  "I am driven to believe that you 
represent a serious and significant danger to young children in the future." 

The  court was told that for more than a year Fitchiehad been  distributing 
the pornography, most of it involving young boys. He said Fitchie'smaterial 
could  be  accessed  by  paedophiles around the  world  who  knew  a  secret 

Grant Armstrong,  defending,  said Fitchiewas "extremely well thought of by 
his  employers" who would readily hire him again.  "He owns his own property 
and is regarded as an ordinary member of the community," he said.  After the 
case,  Det  Con  Alex  Lynn,  of Surrey police,  said detectives were  using 
Fitchie'scomputer  records to try to trace other  paedophiles  around  the 
world. (c) Telegraph Group Limited, London,



Now if we look at that text more closely, you could hope that this report is
discussing  an  entirely  different  Graham Fitchie  from  the  one  that  I
described earlier in this article. The chance is there, but I would say that
it is cosmically small there is another person named Graham Fitchie involved
in paedophile activity in the United Kingdom.

The general profile,  of age and behaviour fits my memory of him quite well,
I  think he was a few years older than the rest of us.  Aged thirty-seven in
1997,  this puts him about four years older,  but well within the scope of a
person  seeking to get a higher education degree.  A lot of people train  or
retrain as teachers at a relatively late stage of their career. A person who
is  well  thought  of by his community and employers  wouldn't  surprise  me
either.  For all his faults, Graham was intelligent, able to present himself 
well,  and I daresay, diligent in his work. He was a keen computer user back
then  too,  owning a Commodore 64,  quite a fully specc'd set up with proper
Commodore badged peripherals, floppy drives and a printer.

It might be  interesting to see a picture of him now, or possibly, as he was
back then around  the time of the trial,  because then I would know for sure
whether it was actually him or not. As it is,the chances are better than 95%
that this is the Graham Fitchie I knew all those years ago.

What is really disturbing,  is the fact that he seems to have crossed from a
passive version of paedophilia, collecting material, to active participation
in  his  "hobby."  Indeed,  the trial judge would be correct  in  describing
Graham  as  a  "Serious  and significant danger to  young  children  in  the 
future." I'm amazed that he only got a three year sentence, which means that
he  is out right now,  unless he's been caught again,  and probably arrogant
enough to decide that he is "right", even when the rest of society says that
he is wrong!  So it looks like this gentleman will have to be very carefully
watched indeed...

If  anyone feels like asking the reasonable question of "Why didn't we  kick 
his head in when we had the chance?!" I can only say sorry, I don't know why
we didn't.   I suppose we trusted someone in authority was keeping an eye on
him,  but  they  weren't.  I certainly don't want that name to come up again
with fresh new entries on an internet search in the future.

CiH - For Alive! Mag, April '02

Alive 5